Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gear Shift

The people’s car would bring about a paradigm shift

The Rs one lakh car has finally arrived. Though there were strong apprehensions about whether this dream car would ever see the light of day, but somehow going by the way things were shaping up there was an equally strong belief that it had to come, and it would come. This apprehension was on account of nothing else, but for the fact that the moment Mr Ratan Tata made the tall commitment, he immediately came under severe scrutiny from media, competitors and environmentalists (of course).

In fact, the recent media attention was so strong that although it might not turn into good economics, he was left with no other option, but to live by his commitment and silence his critics. And with the launch of Nano, he managed to do that fairly well. Other than this, Nano undoubtedly has the potential to bring about a permanent paradigm shift not only for India Inc. but also for the Indian psyche.

The day after that euphoric launch, all newspapers ran the story in multiple pages. Incidentally, most of the media vehicles had almost a common theme and that was – ‘Promise fulfilled’. In a land where almost every promise goes unfulfilled, positively, no wonder any fulfilled promise becomes big news! In his case, particularly the fulfilment of promise looks even bigger with the kind of systemic odds that he had to fight. And that is the first paradigm shift that Mr Tata has managed to bring about in India, which invariably has lived with a long tally of unfulfilled or under-fulfilled promises. Forget the car, if India Inc. can, from now onwards fulfil every promise that it makes towards its people, their offerings too would receive such unprecedented response and would in fact, change the way the world looks at “Indian ingenuity’. And why just business, if this variant of execution and observance can extend to other institutions and public governance systems, then for sure, we are not going to remain exactly the same way as we are now.

Equally, the launch of Nano brought about another positive change in the basic Indian psyche. It is no secret that India has been predominantly populated by lower middle class citizens and is amply reflected in the kind of aspirations most of us keep up, even today. Foreign travel, ownership of home, jewellery and a four-wheeler constitute the higher-order needs (aspirations) in terms of material wealth. These are blatantly signaled in any classified section of astrologers, palmists (who predict as to when one would go about acquiring these) and even matrimony (which goes about exhibiting the economic well-being).

Amongst these select aspirations, it is for sure that Nano would definitely succeed in realizing the socio-economic objective of car ownership, for thousands of people/families across India. Thus on the face of it, Nano is priced at a tenth of a million, but the pattern shifts that it has brought about would bring about a meaningful changes in the lives of a billion, in one way or the other.


No comments:

Post a Comment